If you saw the movie, Game of Thrones, you are likely conversant with the variety of forbidden relationships and taboo relationships portrayed therein. The series is set in its own alternate universe and does not compare with real-time as you may know. Beyond the TV screen, stories of incest usually inspire gruesome concern in the public.

Incestuous relationships are sexual activities between close blood relatives which may include step relations and family members who are forbidden by law to marry.

Forbidden relationship

Usually, these forbidden relationships are prohibited and systems of rules are enacted and enforced by the imposition of penalties by a particular country or community to regulate the actions of its members.

Incestuous relationships cut across all the social classes in developed, developing, and underdeveloped societies. This cankerworm would pass for a silent health emergency. Father-daughter incest is recounted to be the commonest incest brand closely followed by brother-sister, sister-sister, and mother-son incest. With the growing recognition of same-sex attraction, forbidden relationships also exist across such lines – as in mother-daughter, father-son, etc.

How far have we evolved with respect to forbidden relationships?

Centuries ago, depending on the time one lived, forbidden relationships were seen differently. For example, Cleopatra, described by Wikipedia as the last active ruler of Egypt 51 BC to 10 or 12 August 30 BC. [9]; was said to have married two of her brothers, even though it wasn’t recorded if she actually had children with them.

However, she had children with lovers who were not related to her. Marriage between elites in those days was intended differently; some to keep power and wealth concentrated in the family.

Incestuous relationships limit the gene pool. It’s considered a curse to some but was considered a blessing to ruling families in the past. According to them, it made the elite bloodline remain pure.

According to Wikipedia, ‘’the incest taboo is the most widely spread of all cultural taboos, both in present and in past societies.’’

Incestuous relationships flourish despite how despicable it is. Forbidden relationships can take many forms and shapes with the age-long argument being that ‘’it’s unnatural’’ and immoral. As well as studies that have linked such relationships to congenital disabilities and diseases.

Incest also occurs accidentally between family members with poor knowledge of their family ties.

Are forbidden relationships natural?

So many writers have attempted to trace the antecedence of the taboo relationship. Different proponents provide instinctual, genetic, and social explanations for the dreaded phenomenon.

The despicable phenomenon gradually evolves and has continued to curl along with civilizations. According to a report by Jonathan Pearlman in 2014, a judge from Australia was criticized after saying incestuous relationships may no longer be a taboo and that the community may now accept consensual sex between adult siblings.

The lawyer was said to liken incest to homosexuality as quoted ‘’If this was the 1950s and you had a jury of 12 men there, which is what you’d invariably have, they would say it’s unnatural for a man to be interested in another man or a man being interested in a boy. Those things have gone.”[7]

Similarly, in 2014 an advisory board to Germany’s government called for a revision of a branch of the country’s incest law, which would ‘’end the criminalization of sex between siblings’’. Even though, the ethics council ‘’ didn’t recommend decriminalizing sex between parents and children.’’[8]

Also, a story was published on Apr 13, 2018, by BBC about a US man in an incest case who reportedly killed his biological daughter, their child, and the girl’s adopted father, before killing himself.

There are also unspoken truths about mother and son incest. An example is a story published on Jan 21, 2017, by Ginger Gorman of a boy named Ian who committed suicide; he was habitually raped by his mother. Unfortunately, only a few of these stories make it to the news.

How bad is the effects of forbidden relationships ?

Sexual abuse committed by a parent, particularly the mother, creates disorder in the mind of the child who has to depend on the very person who perpetuates the evil.

The victims are usually minors. According to University of Canberra researcher Lucetta Thomas, “The abuse often started before the child hit puberty when the child was still quite young, so they had really no concept of what was going on, but they were still being coerced or manipulated into performing sexual acts,” [5]

Most of the time, the victims have no one to confide in or any clue what so ever what’s happening to them. Even when they are grown and willing to speak up, there may be afraid that no one would believe their stories.

Is it right for a bereaved father to be in a sexual relationship with his daughter since he sees a replica of his late spouse in her?

Though challenging, grieving a loved one should not result in seeking or allowing a sexual relationship with your child – whether the attraction is mutual or not. The child or children are not expected to fill the void of a departed spouse no matter how alike they look or behave. A child and spouse represent different things.

It is important to seek help or counseling against acting on impulse. A confidant with a sound, logical mind is able to offer a different perspective and help you process your thoughts responsibly. Going a step further, seek a fulfilling relationship with an unrelated adult. Do not betray your parenthood. Think and act appropriately with and around your child/children.

It is possible to experience different kinds of weird emotions while grieving, including bizarre attraction. While grieving a loved one can be really challenging, getting help would be the best action. Even when the attraction is mutual, children were meant to depend on their parents and not the other way around.

Forbidden relationship

Being attracted to your daughter isn’t okay!

Personally, I think being attracted to someone with qualities that one admires in people might be natural, natural in the sense that, losing a spouse can create a huge void in a person. The expected reaction would be to fill that emptiness. However, a daughter wouldn’t be a good replacement for a departed spouse. They represent different things. A sane man should know better than to act on incestuous thoughts. 

Irrespective of personality, it’s would be logical to always test the entire propositions in your head before acting and making a decision. Talking with someone often helps, it presents another perspective to the problem. Consulting a counselor or a trusted friend might help.

As a father having those thoughts, you may be worried about what to do and may even feel shame if you’re sexually attracted to your daughter. Whatever you do, don’t give in to this attraction and ensure not to harm your daughter in any way.

You should to be extremely careful of all your engagements around your grieving period, especially your actions near your daughter.  Do not betray your parenthood, that’s the highest form of responsibility.

 So please act properly and correctly with your child. Don’t do anything sexual to your daughter, either by thinking or touching her sexually.  A proper way of handling this situation would be finding a fulfilling relationship with an unrelated adult.

Is it okay for a daughter to be sexually attracted to her father?

Sigmund Freud a famous psychoanalyst posited that, kids go through a series of psychosexual stages which ensures the development of the adult personality.  Freud wrote at length about the Oedipus complex i.e. sexual attraction between son and mother. Similarly, Carl Jung wrote about the Electra complex between daughter and father.

The Electra complex describes a girl’s sense of competition with her mother for her father’s affections. Usually, this occurs around aged 3 and 6, when a girl subconsciously becomes sexually attached to her father and consequently becoming hostile toward her mother. 

However, girls usually outgrow this developmental stage. According to Gigi Engle ‘Our relationships with our primary caregivers are the start of our maturation, and our first experience with other human beings.’ these relationships set the pace for future relationships.

Forbidden relationship

It molds us into whom we are, so it’s not totally unimaginable if a daughter finds her father attractive and has some teenage fantasies like “My dad is so amazing. I wish I could date someone like him.”

Irrespective of the relationship you have with your parent(s), being sexually attracted to your father (whether he’s a cool dad or not) would constitute a forbidden relationship; this behavior persisting in adulthood may indicate a poor transition from childhood – a development gap.

Who’s having daddy issues?

In my hometown, a lady who is stuck in childhood is said to be having Daddy issues. They are stuck in childhood because their brains don’t know what is good for them and what isn’t good for them. All their brains know is what is familiar to them and their whole body levitates towards it.

They may be victims of childhood trauma and sadly, this continues to disrupt the individual’s passage to maturity.

If not properly resolved, might result in emotional, psychosexual, or physical problems that stick to the individual indefinitely.

These ladies often make bad dating choices, for example dating someone who treats them badly, partly because they are always in competition with themselves and seeking love from the wrong sources; making it apparent that their psyche cannot distinguish its wants from its needs.

They are stuck in childhood because their brains don’t know what is good for them and what isn’t good for them. All their brains know is what is familiar to them and their whole body levitates toward it. On a personal note, it’s definitely not okay to fantasize about a sexual relationship with your father whether he’s the coolest or even a total alcoholic.

How to identify an inappropriate level of intimacy between a parent and child

Gender equality is still a less realistic phenomenon. There is a bias in the level of intimacy between the opposite sex and the boundaries therein as set by society. For  example, a single father nursing a sick teenage girl might need to employ a nurse when it’s time for a bath but a mother with a teenage boy in the same situation can be readily accepted.

With regard to incest, father-daughter taboo relationship receives the most heat.

Forbidden relationship

To know if the level of intimacy is appropriate, intimacy must first be defined. According to goodtherapy, ‘Intimacy usually denotes mutual vulnerability, openness, and sharing. It is often present in close, loving relationships such as marriages and friendships. The term is also sometimes used to refer to sexual interactions, but intimacy does not have to be sexual’ [2].

Undoubtedly, emotional closeness is a form of intimacy but emotional closeness between parents and children is viewed differently from that between friends or lovers. Closeness in parenthood is barely mutual. It is centered on a parent being cognizant of the child’s needs.

A parent seeking emotional support or security from children is grossly inept. Therefore, a parent seeking intimacy with an ulterior emotive state with a child is totally unacceptable.

Children who are properly nurtured would develop and progressively seek more independence and privacy. At a certain age, the willingness to undertake certain actions or activities by themselves would be natural and spontaneous. Activities such as feeding themselves, dressing up, bathing in private without assistance or supervision give a hint that it is the time when physical contact should be re-evaluated.

How to discover incest in a family ?

Trying to discover a case of ongoing incest and molestation in a family might take a different approach. There is oftentimes, a cloud of conspiracy protecting incestuous relationships. A case published on on April 29, 2018, is a typical example. A Kenyan man was caught having sex with his daughter and the mother admitted to being aware. She did not intervene in a bid to protect her marriage.[3].

Forbidden relationship

A key indicator of a ruined relationship is behavioral changes. This can be exhibited, for one, through insolence. It also leads to mistrust of people in general.

Unexplained pregnancies is another pointer. Sometimes, wives take the blame for either not noticing or deliberately ignoring signs. Girls eventually get to confide in friends, neighbors, or teachers.


Regardless that humans are complex, multi-layered, sexual beings amongst other things, being sexually attracted to your relative let alone, your child is purely odd. There are two parallel things; our thoughts and our actions. One should carefully scrutinize thoughts before execution.

Amongst the few things still regarded as taboos, incestuous relationships remain one of them. It remains an inappropriate emotional dependence or improper sexual conduct. Seeking help from qualified guidance and counseling authority(-ies) will prove beneficial.

As much as physical contact varies from culture to culture, parents should be sensitive to know the amount of physical contact with children that are culturally incongruent.

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